Updated: Aug 20, 2021
When Martha Chizuma left office as the Ombudsman, most women, including myself, hoped that she wouldn’t be the last woman to serve in that position. I was therefore ecstatic to hear of the appointment of Grace Malera as the new Ombudsman. Women in such top leadership positions serve as role models to girls and women.
We need more female role models to whom our little girls can look up to and be inspired. When our girls are surrounded by confident women, accomplished, determined, and hardworking, it will be easy for them to envision themselves with those qualities. It will be more easy for little girls to imagine themselves in big and challenging roles when they see women like Grace Mulera, Racheal Sibande, Martha Chizuma, Mwawi Kumwenda, and other ladies excelling in different fields, most of which are male-dominated. Back in the day, it was very easy for society to manipulate girls into thinking that a girl’s greatest achievement was getting married and having children. It was even easier to condition them into thinking they could not achieve anything because they were surrounded by living proofs.
When a woman achieves something, she does not only achieve it for herself, she achieves it for every woman and every little girl out there.
By just being there, the role models demonstrate to girls and fellow women what is possible. They also show possible ways of overcoming obstacles at the same time offer inspiration and motivation.
“It’s hard to be what you cannot see- Dr. Nina Ansary”
The presence of relatable role models paves a road map for fellow women and little girls. It challenges the girls to do better, it shows them that it was done, it can be done again and it can be done even better. These local examples of role models provide a more easily imaginable vision of success. When they see a successful woman with a similar background, who managed to rise above the difficult conditions, it assures the girls that no obstacle is insurmountable.
There should be a diverse group of role models with different styles, stories, personalities, aspirations, and perspectives. I want to encourage every woman and girl out there to step up and be the role models they wish they had growing up. Wishing Grace all the best as she takes on her new role as the public defender. May she hold the door open for more women and girls to come.